|Florida Sandhill Crane at our door|
|Strategus antaeus major male|
I have a small five gallen fish tank with a solid plastic top only opened about 1/3. I fill the tank about 2/3 full with a mixture of
1/3 organic compost soil
1/3 crumbled rotten wood (hardwoods, not softwoods)
Now is the time to start checking your pupae daily. Eventually, an adult will emerge. Just like butterflies, they emerge in a "soft" state. Their elytra are pale-colored and easily damaged until they harden.
Normally, they remain underground at this stage.
Here is a major male I raised before he hardened:
|Strategus antaeus major male before hardening|
After a few hours, the caramel orange color of its elytra will match the deep maroon of its head. Once they are completely hardened, they can be released to the wild.
Raising ox beetles is easier and every bit as fun as raising butterflies!
For some close-up photos of another major male, go to this post.